Final State Budget Unlikely Before New Fiscal Year

The state's new fiscal year is days away and it will apparently arrive without a final budget in place.

The House and Senate have both approved spending plans of approximately $38 billion, but a six-member conference committee has yet to agree on a final version. So when fiscal year 2016 begins on Wednesday, the state will likely operate under a stopgap budget signed by Gov. Charlie Baker.

Budget negotiations are secret and legislative leaders haven't indicated what issues might be holding up a final agreement.

One possibility is taxes. The Senate voted to freeze the income tax rate at 5.15 percent while boosting the earned income tax credit for low-income working families.

The House asked for a legal opinion on whether the Senate could initiate the tax proposal. The Supreme Judicial Court sided with the Senate on the matter.


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